How Stress Ages Our Hair & Skin

When you think of your stressors, what usually comes to mind? Maybe it’s a bad breakup or a big move. These types of stress are short term and the way our body temporarily responds, such as by releasing the hormone cortisol for a small period of time, helps us deal with the stressor at hand. But just as pernicious are chronic stressors that build up over time, the ones that happen so often that they become “normal,” leading to an impact on our hair and skin health. An example could be the stress put on our bodies from inadequate sleep or the daily stress of a toxic work environment. Given the higher stress levels many of us are experiencing, you may even be noticing an increased feeling of anxiety or emotion when checking the news or scrolling social media.

Why hair thins when you’re chronically stressed

Linked to acceleration of hair and skin aging, chronic (long-term) and acute (short-term) stressors can be mental, emotional, or physical. However, while acute stress works to help enhance our immunity, chronic stress can have the opposite effect, suppressing our immunoprotection and increasing inflammation around our hair follicles, leaving us more vulnerable to damage. 

Extreme or prolonged chronic stress even has the ability to push our normal hair growth cycle out of the growth phase, while stress molecules released by the body can work to directly inhibit the growth of hair, resulting in periods of increased hair shedding and nearly no growth. High stress levels also have the ability to aggravate existing hair issues stemming from hormones, toxins, metabolic issues, or our immune system.

How skin ages and sags under continued stress

Like hair, cortisol has the potential to cause serious damage to the skin. High levels of cortisol increase the breakdown of important skin compounds by about 40% and, to add insult to injury, decrease how well we make new ones. This is particularly true of skin components we rely on to help retain moisture. For example, when high levels of the hormone epinephrine (aka adrenaline) are released in response to a sudden stressor, the body’s ability to generate collagen can be impacted. Meanwhile, long-term or chronic stress has been connected to decreasing elastin. Both collagen and elastin are essential to taut, smooth skin. Without them, sagging, wrinkles, and other signs of skin aging become more apparent.

While photoaging of our skin is blamed largely on UV exposure from the sun, studies have shown that this damage is accelerated when combined with chronic stress. High levels of stress molecules have been shown to increase DNA damage to our cells, messing with their normal functioning and repair and leading to premature aging. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been shown to play a role in damaging and aging our cells, and repeated stress has been shown to enhance their negative impact. This insult of extra stress on the skin comes double with age, as the skin cell’s ability to repair damage naturally dwindles.

High stress levels have also been linked to causing blemishes. Common acne occurs thanks to a perfect storm of increased colonization of the bacteria P. acnes on the skin, increased oil production from our oil glands, and inflammation. Stress hormones have been shown to increase both oil production and inflammation, potentially causing or worsening acne. Not only that, but stress has the ability to worsen other issues associated with skin rashes, such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis.

Gray hair and stress

Is the link between gray hair and stress just a myth? Science says no. Researchers now know that continued influence from the hormone norepinephrine, released in response to stress, robs us of the cells we rely on to pigment our hair. High levels of norepinephrine cause our melanocytes, or pigmented cells, to mature too quickly and migrate right out of our hair follicles in unnaturally high numbers — never to return. Prolonged exposure to high epinephrine can lead to new hair growth being emptied of pigmented cells, leaving hair looking grey or white. 

How to manage stress for beautiful skin and hair

Given today’s stressful environment, supporting a healthy stress response is a priority for both well-being and healthy hair and skin aging. Stress-fighting ingredients found in hair growth supplements like Nutrafol have been shown to support your natural defense against stress. 

Effective vitamins for stress, hair, and skin

Some of the top vitamins and botanicals to support hair growth and healthy skin aging in times of stress are: 

  • Ashwagandha
  • Vitamin D 
  • Vitamin C 
  • Collagen

Ashwagandha for stress

Using medical-grade Sensoril® ashwagandha, Nutrafol is the only clinically tested hair growth supplement to address stress as a key root cause of thinning hair.

Vitamins for skin health

Vitamin D has been shown to improve immune function and inflammation, including the inflammatory response associated with premature aging. Vitamin C also helps to support proper immune function, as well as support antioxidant activity of the skin, protecting us from damage to our skin cells that may attribute to signs of aging. As an extra perk, vitamin C aids collagen production, helping to support the resilience of our skin and the hair follicles that rely on it. 

Collagen

Studies have shown that continual oral use of collagen is a safe way to help reduce and prevent skin aging. Researchers agree that hydrolyzed collagen, like the kind found in Nutrafol, is a helpful tool to improve skin hydration, wrinkling, and elasticity, which means great things for overall skin appearance, as well as the strength your skin needs to foster and secure healthy hair follicles and support formation of hair fibers like keratin.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. TESS MARSHALL, ND

on September 18, 2020

5 Ways We’re De-Stressing For Hair Wellness

From daily wellness breaks to Zoom yoga and free Headspace subscriptions, Nutrafol is finding new ways to support its employees’ well-being every day. 

Our team of 74 staffers (and growing!) swapped our plant-filled New York office for home offices in early March. Working at Nutrafol, we know how important de-stressing is for mind, body, and hair wellness, so we’ve been using all the resources and opportunities around us to stay centered while we work from home and adapt to today’s stressful environment. “Especially right now, when life feels so different, it’s important to find those elements that make you feel normal,” our co-founder and chief medical advisor, Dr. Sophia Kogan, MD, says. She’s been using dance as a form of meditation while working from home, and along with Nutrafol co-founders Giorgos and Roland, she’s making sure the team has plenty of Nutrafol so we can benefit from the powerful stress adaptogen ashwagandha that’s in every capsule. 

Below, some Nutrafol team members share how they’re making hair wellness and de-stressing a top priority in their daily routines. 

1. We aren’t pressuring ourselves to be “wellness superstars.”

“Quarantine put a ton of pressure on me to be a wellness superstar. So when I found myself sitting more and feeling too lazy to cook or workout, I got really discouraged. A few months in, I switched from an all-or-nothing attitude about wellness to doing small things that made me happy. Now I’m taking breaks throughout the workday, sweating more, and eating plenty of vegetables.” —Tess, director of product development and marketing

“I have spent a lot more time slowing down and taking in and appreciating the little things (like more time with my cat) that life has to offer.” —Anita, operations analyst

2. We’re finding new hobbies and ways to unwind.

We've been spending more time in our local parks than ever before.

“I’m spending more time in nature and doing things I’ve always wanted to do, like learn to play the violin and take online English courses at Yale.” —Savannah, social media manager 

“More spiritual wellness, eating cleaner, and reading way more. I also take walks around my local park almost every day.”—Hector, talent acquisition manager

“I have more time for exercise and outdoor activities, and I’m saving money by learning to make amazing coffee at home. I’m also taking time to think more about personal goals and relationships.” —Evie, marketing manager

“I gave up Netflix and most all TV to spend more time outside and cook all my meals — except my two Sweetgreen orders every Tuesday and Thursday, thanks to our weekly catered lunches from Nutrafol.” —April, director of content 

“I have dedicated more time to my yoga practice and have gotten really into baking!” —Kerry, performance marketing manager

3. We’re adapting to today’s stress with meditation, stress adaptogens, and self-care.

“I made a mental and overall physical change to slow down and stay present with meditation, yoga, and more ‘me’ time. I love long bike rides to fully let go!” —Johnnell, director of salons

“I’m using stress adaptogens, taking time to exercise, and sitting outside in silence listening to nature.” —Sara, business development manager

“Meditation apps for the win! Any app that helps with breathing or even setting up reminders to take a moment out of the day to breath and meditate has been helpful to manage stress and anxiety levels.”—Anita

“Every morning I make myself a coffee, turn on a podcast, and sit and do my makeup and hair for the day. It may sound routine but it’s a form of meditation for me and it’s often my favorite time of day.” —April

4. We’re connecting more with our loved ones.

“I’ve moved in with my parents for the time being. It’s a blessing to spend more quality time with them!” —Savannah

“Now that I don’t have to commute, I spend the mornings with my husband — taking a walk, eating breakfast on the patio — before starting the workday.” —Claire, head of communications

“My cousins and I have virtual game nights and I think we see each other more now than we ever did pre-quarantine.” —April 

5. We’re giving our hair a break from heat and supporting it from within.

“I used to straighten my hair every day but I haven’t heat styled my hair at all during quarantine. I’ve also been doing a hair mask every week and taking my Nutrafol with a home-cooked meal. My trick to hair masks is to leave it in all day so my hair gets extra hydrated.”—Savannah 

“I haven’t straightened my hair in over three months. I’ve also been taking my Nutrafol every day. It’s absolutely made a difference in my hair health and overall wellness.” —Kerry

Savannah's hair wellness routine includes weekly hair masks and daily Nutrafol.

“Sadly I noticed an increase in hair shedding a few months into quarantine. It’s now lessened, thanks to the Nutrafol De-Stress Hair Growth Kit, which is filled with stress adaptogens. Now that my hair has stopped shedding, it looks longer and healthier than ever before.” —Tess

“I’ve fully embraced heatless styling — haven’t used my blow-dryer since March! My hair wellness routine consists of weekly hair masks and managing stress with long runs and lots of yoga.” —Claire

“After the physical stress of having COVID-19 and the mental toll of today’s stressful environment, my hair started shedding big time. I switched from Nutrafol alone to the Nutrafol De-Stress Hair Growth Kit, which has extra stress adaptogens, and my shedding stopped in July. I’m super excited to see the thinning areas filling back in.” —April 

“My scalp has been incredibly dry being indoors so much, so any type of scalp treatment has been a lifesaver for my hair these days.” —Anita

“Hair masks! I like to multi-task by putting my hair mask in right before a workout. I feel like the heat helps it penetrate better.” —Evie

Why We Need To Talk About Menopause & Hair Thinning

September is Menopause Awareness Month, and our team of hair scientists and naturopathic doctors want to help open the conversation around women’s hair thinning and menopause. Below, read the emotional hair stories of women experiencing menopause, along with important insights from Nutrafol’s Dr. Sophia Kogan, MD.  

Most of us had the period talk and the sex talk with our mother or mother figure, but raise your hand if you had the menopause talk? 

“I knew very little about menopause,” says Gabriela, age 54, part of an amazing group of women who shared their hair stories with Nutrafol for this article. “My mother had a hysterectomy at 36 so menopause wasn’t something I ever thought about.” One of the biggest surprises for Gabriela was how menopause changed her hair. “I lost a lot of hair in the two years immediately following menopause. My hair has always been fine, but now it’s gone to a new level of thin. It’s the thing that bothers me most about myself,” she shares. 

Whether natural or induced, menopause is a major transition in a woman’s life — but we don’t talk about it enough. This lack of conversation leaves many of us unprepared to deal with the changes that come during this time of life, one of the most confidence-shaking being changes to our hair.

Why we need to talk about menopause and hair thinning.

“Hair thinning is something that women don’t anticipate because it’s never talked about,” says Nutrafol co-founder and chief medical advisor Dr. Sophia Kogan. “We expect that we’ll get wrinkles and our bodies will change, because that’s an expectation we see in our mothers, but if our mothers never talked about their hair thinning, we never think it will happen to us.”

But it often does. Over 30 million women experience hair thinning at some point in their lives, and 40% of women have visible hair thinning by age 40. According to Harvard Medical School, two-thirds of postmenopausal women deal with hair thinning or bald spots. 

Thinning hair is a natural part of a woman’s life.

What women need to know.

As we go through menopause, hormonal shifts occur that can cause hair thinning and shedding. “What happens is estrogen and progesterone levels decline very suddenly while androgen hormones (testosterone) decrease, but also linger,” explains Dr. Kogan. Some women have a higher sensitivity or genetic predisposition to these androgen hormones, making them more susceptible to hair thinning. 

Some of the hair changes women notice during menopause include:  

  • Loss of fullness 
  • Color lightens or becomes gray  
  • Loss of shine
  • Dullness due to change in fatty acid composition
  • Frizziness due to changes in fiber composition 
  • Thinning at the crown with intact hairline
  • Widening of the central part
  • Thinning with recession at both temples

“My hair definitely got thinner — especially at the crown and sides,” says Anna, 62. “My hair, much like my skin, feels a lot drier now, says Sasha, 67. “I hate it,” says Cathy, 66, of her hair after menopause. “It’s thinner now and it’s actually made me appreciate how much thicker my hair was before menopause.”

Don’t lose hope… Take control.

One of the reasons we need more awareness around hair thinning during menopause is that many women think there’s no hope. Asked how they envision their hair in the next five years, women age 48 to 67 replied with everything from, “Thinner and more receding,” to “Probably much worse,” to “Oh gosh, I hate to even think about it.” However, new research shows targeted botanicals and lifestyle interventions can address the factors (from hormones to stress to nutrition) that contribute to hair thinning during menopause.

“We specifically formulated Nutrafol Women’s Balance to support hair health through menopause — before, during, and after,” says Dr. Kogan. Of the 21 natural ingredients in Women’s Balance, some key players include saw palmetto, maca root, and astaxanthin. “Saw palmetto targets those androgen hormones, while the beautiful adaptogen maca naturally balances sex hormones, and astaxanthin boosts our antioxidant capacity to fight oxidative stress,” explains Dr. Kogan. “At Nutrafol, we’re about hair wellness and how you can support your hair through whole-body health,” she adds. “A positive way of looking at it is that it’s a form of self-care. Taking care of your hair during menopause is a simple act of self-care.”

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. TESS MARSHALL, ND

on September 3, 2020

5 Preventable Reasons Men Lose Hair

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month, and our team of hair scientists and naturopathic doctors are here to help you understand the root causes of hair thinning. This week, we’re busting the myth that genetics hold all a man’s cards when it comes to hair. Here’s how guys can take control of their hair’s destiny.

For some men, dealing with hair thinning feels like a losing battle. Their father has it, their uncles have it, so why should their hair be any different? While your dad’s genes do play a role, they don’t seal your hair’s fate. Experts agree that genetic predisposition isn’t the lone factor in male hair thinning. So while genes hold the potential for certain things to happen to your hair, factors like stress response, environment, diet, and hormones can influence if or when that potential becomes a reality. In other words: You have a lot more control over your hair’s destiny than you thought.

Some of the triggers that can contribute to male hair thinning can be preventable, giving you the opportunity to support how your body handles them through positive habits and supplementing with natural ingredients. Read on to discover five preventable reasons men lose their hair.

1. Stress

We know long-term stress is bad news for our overall health, but did you know it can play a big role in the health of your hair, too? Stimulated by ongoing stressors or significant stressful events, high levels of the stress hormone cortisol can lead to an inflammatory response and can cause hair follicles to be pushed prematurely from their growth phase into their resting phase, leading to greater hair thinning. High cortisol levels can also speed up the breakdown of important elements of our skin, like collagen fibers. This puts the dermal environment of the hair follicles in jeopardy, with important skin components degrading by about 40%.

Ashwagandha, an ingredient found in Nutrafol, has been shown to exert an impressive influence on cortisol, balancing cortisol levels and physiological markers of stress. Curcumin has also been shown to increase our resilience to stress and, along with other antioxidants, such as vitamins C and A, has been found to successfully thwart the inflammatory impact of stress. These star ingredients have been included in Nutrafol to help support a healthy stress response to preserve the hair growth cycle.

2. DHT

Male hormones, or androgens, generally get a bad rap when it comes to male hair thinning. But dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is the true hormone to pay attention to. DHT, a form of testosterone, has been connected to gradually miniaturizing scalp hair follicles and shortening the time hair follicles spend in their growth phase, leading to baldness. Research has found that sufferers of male hair thinning commonly have increased amounts of 5-alpha reductase, the enzyme responsible for turning testosterone into DHT, so essentially you will make a higher amount of DHT hormone compared to someone with less of the enzyme. We’ve also discovered that an elevated amount of androgen receptors, which act as docking stations for DHT, on areas of balding allow for a greater influence on hair thinning. 

This increased influence of DHT is connected to genetics, but don’t fret: In order for DHT to have an impact, 5-alpha reductase needs to first create it from testosterone. Natural substances like saw palmetto, found in Nutrafol, have been shown to have a positive impact on lowering the activity of 5-alpha reductase and helping to stimulate follicle growth

3. Environment/toxins

We’re bombarded by toxins at nearly every step of our day, from the heavy metals in our sushi at lunch to the pollutants in the air we breathe on the way to the restaurant. Despite our most valiant efforts of prevention, exposure to some level of toxins is part of living in the modern world. Even less synthetic aspects of our daily life increase stress in their own way. Environmental stressors, such as UV light from the sun, can cause an increase in damaging oxidative stress in our bodies. Our body needs support to properly handle these toxins and environmental stressors, as they have the potential to increase the intensity of the body’s  inflammatory response, impact hormones, and damage hair follicles. Antioxidants in Nutrafol, such as resveratrol, selenium, zinc, and vitamin D, have been shown to help defend us against the damage brought on by these exposures.

4. Poor Nutrition

The phrase “you are what you eat” is especially true when it comes to hair. In order for hair follicles to have the building blocks they need to make healthy hair, you have to deliver proper nutrients through your meals. This first and foremost means getting adequate amounts of high-quality protein, as protein is the main component of our hair strands. Still, proper hair follicle function relies on more than just one macronutrient. High quality fats and carbohydrates are also important to help fuel your hair growth cycle and nourish your body as a whole, which ensures your hair follicles continue to get the green light for growth. Decreasing exposure to toxins that can sneak in through our meal choices is another consideration, so opting for organic foods whenever possible (or, at least, avoiding the worst offenders for heavy pesticide exposure) can go a long way for your hair health.

How well you absorb the nutrients from your meals is another important factor for optimal hair growth. Unfortunately, proper nutrient absorption can be thrown off by something as simple as stress. Absorption also relies on us having the internal support necessary to physically pull all the good stuff from our food. Digestive enzymes, as well as the right population of gut flora, can lend a hand in actively breaking down carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and other nutrient-dense compounds.

5. Metabolism

A big obstacle in a changing metabolism is blood sugar. (Once sugar from food is absorbed into your bloodstream, how does your body handle it?) An issue with blood sugar metabolism can lead to increased inflammatory response, potentially more DHT, and internal stress, which can negatively impact your hair follicles and has been connected to hair thinning (even in younger men). Nutrafol ingredients like curcumin and ashwagandha support a healthy metabolism by promoting a healthy inflammatory response and balancing cortisol.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. MELISSA ANZELONE, ND

on August 28, 2020

These Men Transformed Their Hair With Nutrafol

For the modern man, feeling good and looking good are one in the same. And we aren’t just talking about confidence — whole-body health is also the key to keeping your hair, naturally, for as long as possible. 

In addition to staying active, eating healthy, and paying attention to self-care, taking a supplement like Nutrafol helps balance the body to address multiple root causes of men’s hair thinning (from hormones to stress to metabolism and hair nutrition) to make hair growth happen. Keep scrolling to see how men are transforming their hair and improving their overall wellness with Nutrafol.

Jon, age 22

Results after three months on Nutrafol

Stress from working night shifts while completing his bachelor’s degree was taking a toll on Jon’s hair. After discovering more and more hair in the shower and on his pillow, Jon started taking Nutrafol. After three months, he noticed more scalp coverage. “Saw palmetto, an ingredient in Nutrafol, helps target DHT, the hormone responsible for Jon’s hair thinning,” Dr. Tess Marshall, ND, a naturopathic doctor at Nutrafol, explains.

Kyron, age 43

Results after four months on Nutrafol

In his early 40s, Kyron noticed the quality of his hair was suffering due to physical stress and a diet lacking optimal nutrition. A friend introduced him to Nutrafol, and after four months he saw better scalp coverage. “I fell in love with Nutrafol for its natural properties,” he says. “My confidence level is back.”

I fell in love with Nutrafol for its natural properties. My confidence level is back.

Jonathon, age 38

Results after 13 months on Nutrafol

This is Jonathon before and during his 13-month Nutrafol journey. “Nutrafol was conscious of the fact that younger men deal with these issues, too, and wasn’t afraid to speak to them,” he says. “I definitely felt my hair get thicker and stronger overall.”

After the first six months, I started to notice my hair getting thicker … Nutrafol addresses the root causes of your hair issues while also helping to balance your sleep and stress with natural ingredients.

Amaan, age 42

Results after 10 months on Nutrafol

“After the first six months, I started to notice my hair getting thicker,” Amaan tells us. A few months later, he says his friends and family started to notice, too. “The results have far exceeded my expectations,” he says. “A month after incorporating Nutrafol, I started to feel much better. Nutrafol addresses the root causes of your hair issues while also helping to balance your sleep and stress.”

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. MELISSA ANZELONE, ND

on August 25, 2020

How Do I Stop Hair From Coming Out In My Brush?

Welcome to “Ask Dr. Sophia,” where our own Dr. Sophia Kogan answers your hair questions. Specializing in integrative hair health, Dr. Kogan is an expert on the effects of botanicals, nutrition, and stress on follicle biology. This week, she’s talking about shedding and why stressing over every hair that comes out in your brush is not the move. 

Ask Dr. Sophia:

Q: How do I stop hair from coming out in my brush?

DR. SOPHIA KOGAN, MD: First of all, it’s absolutely normal to shed anywhere from 80 to 150 hairs per day, depending on the individual. All of us have different amounts of hair and follicles that are genetically predetermined. So if you have a lot of hair, you’re probably going to shed a lot. Everyone is different! You have to be your own measure for what’s going on with your hair. 

When it comes to the hair in your brush, you’re not pulling those hairs out. Any hair that’s ready to come out is going to come out, whether they show up in your brush or on your floor. Hair has to shed in order for new hair to grow; that’s just the way the follicle regenerates hair growth. So we’re all going to shed a little bit. The hairs that come out in your brush are already in the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle and they’re ready to be shed.  

The problem occurs when you have more shedding than growth.
In that case, you may see a sudden increase in the amount of hair in your brush, or maybe clumps of hair in your brush or shower.

When you see that, it can be really scary, but there are a couple of steps you can take to regain control. Firstly, you can bring it up with your physician to rule out any underlying medical issues. It’s important to know that multiple factors play into hair thinning and shedding, from hormones to environment to stress — and right now we are going through a very stressful period in society and many of us are noticing more shedding than usual.  

Today more than ever, you want to take a proactive approach to healthy hair. Lifestyle and nutritional interventions are key to making sure hair is as healthy as it can be and not too many strands are going into the resting (telogen) phase and you have a balance of what’s shedding and what’s growing. Start by finding ways to manage stress, whether it’s yoga, meditation, or even gardening. You can also help your body adapt to stress and build resilience by taking Nutrafol, which contains the stress adaptogen ashwagandha. The way that Nutrafol addresses shedding is by taking a multi-factorial approach with a combination of ingredients that target underlying causes of shedding, like stress, environment, hormones, and metabolism. 

Bottom line: Don’t stress yourself out about the number of hairs in your brush. Take control of what you can control and keep your doctor in the loop. The Nutrafol team is here to help, too! Our DMs are always open on Instagram and Facebook, and you can chat with our team 24/7 via our website.

Sincerely, 
Dr. Sophia Kogan

Dr. Sophia Kogan is co-founder and chief medical advisor at Nutrafol. To submit your hair question to Dr. Sophia, email content@nutrafol.com

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How Nutrafol Works For Hair Growth, According To Doctors

Over 1,500 physicians across the country are helping patients reach their hair growth goals with Nutrafol. We’re proud to work with these esteemed medical professionals, and they appreciate the clinical studies, research, and medical-grade ingredients that go into every bottle of Nutrafol. 

Below, hear from our physician partners on the hair growth results they’re achieving for their patients (and themselves) with Nutrafol.

Get Hair, Health & Science News

I have been on it for at least a year now. —Dr. Sheila Nazarian (pictured above)

“Hair signifies health, and hair thinning might not make us look as healthy as possible, so it’s a big deal. I actually tried out a bunch of the different hair supplements available on the market. I just thought that Nutrafol worked really well. I have been on it for at least a year now. When I put my name behind Nutrafol, it’s because I take it myself. It’s so easy and good for you to take Nutrafol every day and watch the hair magic happen.” —Dr. Sheila Nazarian, MD, MMM, Nazarian Plastic Surgery, Beverly Hills, CA; star of Netflix’s “Skin Decision: Before & After” 

I’ve seen many patients notice thicker, fuller hair after being on Nutrafol for three to six months. —Dr. Julie Russak

Dr. Julie Russak, MD, of Russak Dermatology Clinic.

“I take Nutrafol because I love its ingredients, but I also because I love all the research and understanding of human health that goes into it. I know who makes Nutrafol and how they make it. I am very comfortable with recommending it to my patients. I’ve seen many patients notice thicker, fuller hair after being on Nutrafol for three to six months, and I myself have noticed decreased stress levels (thanks to the stress adaptogen ashwagandha) since taking the supplement. I take my four Nutrafol capsules every morning with my breakfast smoothie.” —Dr. Julie Russak, MD, FAAD, Russak Dermatology Clinic, New York, NY

It helped my hair grow faster and thicker. —Dr. Jennifer Gordon

“I recommend Nutrafol because it is science-backed and focuses on multiple different aspects of hair thinning. It helps with the genetic impact on DHT with saw palmetto, the stress component with ashwagandha, and it gives you the essential nutrients you need to build hair. I have had many success stories with patients and myself included! It continues to help my hair grow faster and thicker. It also doesn’t have any strange aftertaste and is easy to take!”—Dr. Jennifer Gordon, MD, Westlake Dermatology, Austin, TX

Everybody who works in my practice is now on Nutrafol. —Dr. Suneel Chilukuri

Dr. Suneel Chilukuri, MD, of Refresh Dermatology.

“We’re seeing that there’s a lot more hair thinning right now. As soon as I raise the stress question with patients, they jump on the opportunity to discuss their hair thinning. My first step with hair thinning patients is always Nutrafol. My wife is on it, I’m on it… everybody who works in my practice is on Nutrafol. It’s helped us and so I make the same recommendation to my patients.” Dr. Suneel Chilukuri, MD, FAAD, FACMS, Refresh Dermatology, Houston, TX

[My patients] report that their hair is thicker, grows faster, and sheds less. —Dr. Marguerite Germain

“I recommend Nutrafol to all my patients because it delivers fantastic results. Not only does it target hair nutrition, it also addresses the root causes of hair thinning, like hormones, making it very effective. I have multiple success stories from many different patients as well as staff members. While they report that their hair is thicker, grows faster, and sheds less, I also hear feedback that the quality of their skin looks better and they feel less anxious, both of which are wins in my book!” —Dr. Marguerite Germain, MD, Germain Dermatology, Charleston, SC

Nutrafol works as both a proactive and reactive solution. —Dr. Benjamin Paul

Dr. Benjamin Paul, MD, of NYC Facial Plastic and Hair Restoration Surgery.

“In these truly stressful times, I have seen more patients with hair shedding than ever. One of the main goals in a patient visit is to target and improve the underlying cause of hair thinning. In cases of stress, we want to improve the patient’s life by removing the stressor and helping the body reduce internal stress. Nutrafol works as both a proactive and reactive solution. The ashwagandha in Nutrafol is clinically shown to balance cortisol and strengthen the body’s natural response to stress. My patients have seen great results from taking Nutrafol.” —Dr. Benjamin Paul, MD, NYC Facial Plastic and Hair Restoration Surgery, New York, NY

This supplement works on the actual causes of hair thinning. —Dr. Natallia Fiadorchanka

“I recommend Nutrafol because it has natural ingredients and it targets multiple issues that contribute to hair thinning, such as hormones, stress, and the immune system. This supplement works on the actual causes of hair thinning. Personally, I took Nutrafol after my second pregnancy. I did notice a significant difference between the first pregnancy when I did not use Nutrafol and the second one when I did use it. The second time I shed much less hair and my hair quality was much better.” —Dr. Natallia Fiadorchanka, MD, Khrom Dermatology & Aesthetics, Brooklyn, NY

5 Tips To Soften Curls In Humid Weather

Humidity, harsh UV rays, and salt water are a curl’s worst enemy. From breakage to dryness to a halo of flyaways, curly hair needs a lot of support during the summer months. 

“The humidity can cause major frizz, especially if your hair isn’t hydrated properly,” says Angelique Vailes, trichologist, hairstylist, and owner of AV Healing Hands in Maryland. Vailes is a firm believer in a holistic approach to hair wellness: she improves hair on the outside with detoxifying clay scalp treatments and nourishes it from the inside-out by recommending Nutrafol, which uses clinically effective doses of ingredients like marine collagen and horsetail herb to add strength and hydration while boosting hair growth. 

Below, Vailes shares her top tips for maintaining your curls while enjoying the sun, pool, ocean, and all the things that make summer summer.  

1. Moisture, moisture, moisture

“I recommend using products that are rich in moisture, from shampoo to conditioner to leave-in treatments to finishing products and styling aids that promote moisture. If your curly hair is thick or heavy, it’s OK to use moisturizing products that contain coconut oil or shea butter. If your curly hair is fine or thin, it’s best to use products without heavy oils that still promote moisture. Also, drink plenty of water!”

2. Protect your curls before sun and water exposure

“The best thing to do before going to the beach is to use a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, and leave-in treatment followed by hydrating styling products like a curl cream or gel. This will keep the sun from drying out the hair while also maintaining your style.”

3. Change your wash schedule

“When using moisturizing products, it isn’t necessary to shampoo the hair as frequently, especially if your hair is thin. Overly shampooing the hair in the summer strips natural oils and leaves hair dry, brittle, and dull.”

4. Use deep conditioner and protective styles

“Deep conditioning will provide moisture, softness, and shine to all types of hair textures; it will cut down on frizz, dryness, and damage. After using a deep conditioner, you can protect your curls by wearing it naturally curly, in braids, crochet styles, buns, half-up and half-down styles, wavy, wet sets, or straight.”

5. Support your hair from within

“Taking Nutrafol every day has truly done wonders for me. My hair was thinning due to major stress that I was under, as well as hormonal changes from menopause. Nutrafol is formulated to get to the root of what’s causing your hair to thin or lose its luster. If you are consistent, you will see results not only in your hair, but in your overall well-being, too.”

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. TESS MARSHALL, ND

on August 12, 2020

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Hormones & Hair Thinning: Your Top Qs, Answered

August is Hair Loss Awareness Month, and our team of hair scientists and naturopathic doctors are here to help you understand the root causes of hair thinning. One of the most common root causes for both men and women? Hormonal imbalance. Below, we answer your most-asked questions about hormones and hair thinning. 

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How do I know if I have a hormonal imbalance?

Your doctor can check hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, thyroid hormones, and more through blood, salivary, or urine testing. For women, some signs you might notice and should bring up to your doctor are changes to your menstrual cycle, which can be indicative of hormonal imbalances, as well as very heavy or very light menstruation, excessive cramping, or mood swings around your period. Hormonal imbalances are also likely if a woman begins experiencing sleep issues, hot flashes, or night sweats. Men and women may suffer from hormonal acne and changes to sexual interest or function, both of which can indicate a hormonal imbalance. 

Does testosterone cause hormonal hair thinning? 

We run into trouble when a surplus of testosterone is turned into dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, a hormone that has a much stronger influence on our hair follicles than testosterone. DHT binds to receptors near hair follicles, sending signals to inhibit hair growth, shorten how much time hair follicles spend in their growth phase, and, over time, miniaturize their size. Some people (both men and women) have excess amounts of DHT, while others have more receptors available for DHT to attach to. Whatever the case may be, a higher presence of DHT in your body may lead to hormonal hair thinning.

Is hormonal hair thinning reversible?

As long as your hair follicles are intact and unscarred, there’s hope! Research has shown that hormonal hair thinning doesn’t have to be a downhill battle; various treatments and ingredients have been shown to halt the progression of hair thinning. Medical-grade botanicals have shown real results, and research is uncovering more star support options every day. For example, studies have shown the effectiveness of herbs such as saw palmetto in addressing hormones as a root cause of hair thinning. 

Does menopause cause hair thinning?

Levels of estrogen, which naturally prolong and support your hair growth phase, significantly decrease during menopause. This alone could contribute to stunted hair growth, but a significant shift in estrogen levels can also impact the presence of testosterone and DHT, which compounds the problem for hair follicles. On top of this, experts suspect that hair thinning around the time of menopause can also be thanks to other age-related changes, like a long-time accumulation of inflammation and environmental stressors, a decreased ability to defend against oxidative damage, declining mitochondrial function to fuel the energy our hair follicles need, and secondary issues adding obstacles like blood sugar dysregulation and thyroid issues.

Does hair thinning from menopause grow back?

It can! When it comes to coaxing back hair growth, properly identifying and addressing the root causes of the original problem is key. While the main cause of your hair thinning may be hormones, most people have more than one root cause. From stress to environment to nutrition and metabolism, you need a range of support to grow healthy hair. That’s why Nutrafol is formulated with 21 medical-grade ingredients to target multiple causes of thinning hair. In a clinical study, 100% of women taking Nutrafol Women’s Balance showed visible improvement in hair growth, while 80% saw less hair shedding after nine months.  

What ingredients help balance hormones for men?

The most common imbalance in men comes from an abnormally strong presence of the hormone DHT, which, as noted above, can impact the hair growth cycle and lead to miniaturization of the hair follicles. One way to address this is with medical-grade botanicals like saw palmetto, which has been shown to support natural DHT inhibition. Other nutrients shown to support male hormones include zinc, which is crucial for proper testosterone production, and selenium, which is important for the creation of thyroid hormones. The best approach for men is a supplement that supports hormones from multiple different angles. Nutrafol Core For Men is formulated with saw palmetto, zinc, selenium, and a variety of other ingredients shown to help support healthy hair.

What ingredients help balance hormones for women?​

Experts have narrowed down some impressive ingredients to help support common female hormonal imbalances. Maca, found in Nutrafol Womens Balance, has demonstrated a fantastic ability to help to support healthy sex hormone production. Researchers attribute this to its ability to help strengthen hormone production by reinforcing the communication between the brain and our hormone-producing organs like the ovaries and adrenal glands. Maca has also been shown to improve feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as lowered hot flashes and night sweats, which commonly stem from unhealthy hormone levels.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. TESS MARSHALL, ND

on August 6, 2020

How To Undo Hair Tangles Without Losing Clumps Of Hair

Tangled hair can occur for an array of reasons, but I think we can all agree that it’s one of those things we’d prefer to avoid if possible. However, sometimes that’s easier said than done. It doesn’t take much for hair to tangle, as almost all of us know. Improper application or removal of hair ties, environmental factors like the wind, and even just getting your hair wet can result in tangling that leads to tension, breakage, and even loss of hair. 

If you have fine hair, you may be more prone to tangles — not because your hair is thinner, but because there’s more of it. It sounds counterintuitive, but because fine strands take up less space on the scalp, there’s room for more of them. Hence, an increased chance of the hair getting caught. To learn how to prevent hair tangles and safely undo them when they occur, we asked a top stylist to share detangling tips for every hair type. 

Stopping hair tangles before they start

“Prevention is the best tool,” says Jyll Thomas, senior color specialist at Van Michael Salon in Atlanta, Georgia. “I recommend brushing out your hair before showering, gentle lathering when you shampoo, and combing conditioner through your hair with a wide-tooth comb. After you get out of the shower, apply a leave-in conditioner or detangling product and use your fingers to separate larger knots. Next, use a brush with flexible bristles, such as the Wet brush, that will smooth out tangles instead of tearing them out of your hair. Always start brushing at the ends of the hair and carefully work toward the roots.”

Jyll Thomas, senior color specialist at Van Michael Salon in Atlanta, Georgia.

How to remove hair tangles

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Fall is just around the corner, and with scarf weather and gusty winds come serious knots and hair tangles. “A paddle brush works well for thick to medium-weight hair,” Thomas says. “For fine hair, a wide-tooth comb should be able to undo the tangles in your wind-blown, convertible top down hair.” Another great way to prevent tangles from scarves is to wear one made of silk rather than cotton. Cotton can strip the hair of its natural oils, making the hair brittle and more prone to tugging and breakage. If you’re nursing your hair back to health from past breakage and overstyling, ingredients in Nutrafol like marine collagen, tocotrienols, and horsetail will strengthen and nourish hair from within.

The best and worst detangling tools

The type of brush you use to undo tangles depends on the thickness of your hair. Thomas recommends a wide-tooth comb for fine hair, a Wet brush for medium to thick hair when it’s wet, and a paddle brush for medium to thick hair when it’s dry. “I also like to blow-dry and finish brushing hair with a Mason Pearson brush,” she adds. All of these brushes will tame the toughest tangles without causing breakage.” However, no matter your hair type, Thomas suggests avoiding fine-tooth combs for detangling. “They can be painful and can cause damage by ripping out knots instead of smoothing them,” she says. “Avoid brushes with balls at the end of the bristles, as well, because hair will snag on the balls and get pulled out.”

When to get help from a stylist

“Sometimes hair becomes so tangled that it forms a dense mat, which can be very painful and tedious to remove,” says Thomas. “This is when it is important to seek professional help. Small pieces of hair may need to be snipped to undo these tangles — and that is best left up to your stylist.” 

The occasional tangle is inevitable, but it doesn’t have to end in a hair tragedy. As long as you have the right tools and a hair supplement to support your strands from within, you’re prepared to prevent and manage hair tangles with minimal breakage and hair loss.

MEDICALLY REVIEWED BY
DR. TESS MARSHALL, ND

on July 29, 2020